Thursday, August 31, 2006

rage, hate, seeeethe, but then again... okay

coming to you all live from the lufthansa red carpet lounge @ chicago o'hare airport with a little bit of perspective on things. explanation: this morning as i was exiting security @ austin bergstrom international airport (ABIA, for those in the know), my shoulder jerked suddenly as the strap on my carry-on tote broke and my heavy load nearly came off my shoulder. this is when the rage, hate, seeeeethe, etc, began. note that this is a BRAND NEW BAG and today was its voyage outing. i had been extremely pleased with its neutral khaki color, professional look, spacious interior, and well-thought-out design, including a laptop compartment and external pockets for odds and ends.

but! breaking on me before i leave for a week-long trip to europe! when i need it to last so i can take it to client meetings, schlep it around munich, and pile it full of work reading and munich guidebooks! oh the anger! the gnashing of teeth and tearing of garments! (i just got all biblical on your ass... raise your hand if you saw that coming.)

and then i saw a pair of kids saying good-bye to their daddy as he boarded in his plane in his army fatigues. it wasn't overly sappy -- in fact, the little boy seemed to be in a fantastic mood, wishing his daddy a happy good-bye and jumping around in excitement as he looked at the big plane. it was the little girl -- his older sister -- and the mom that killed me. she was pretty brave and happy, wishing her daddy good-bye, etc etc, and the wife seemed to be pretty together as well. after he boarded the plane, though, the little girl (8? 9? 10?) kept rubbing her fists on her eyes to stem the tears and the mom started tearing up as well. she put an arm around each kid and they walked down the terminal as a little trio.

call me a softie, but hot damn, i was moved. it wasn't like a "sappy music wells up now" moment because it felt so much more real. no elaborate good-byes or wild demonstrations of affection, but you can see the mom and the daughter were trying to keep it together until dad walked down the jetway. who knows, in reality the dad could be a total jack-ass and the mom could be cheating on him, but that one moment felt incredibly raw and real and incredibly touching, and i was rather humbled.

that, combined with the fact that i am sitting in the business-class lounge, sipping a glass of white wine and getting ready to fly to munich, makes the fact that my cheap emergency replacement bag that cuts into my shoulders seem relatively insigifnicant in the grand scheme of things. am counting my lucky stars as we speak, actually.

so you don't think i've died, fat and alone, only to be discovered by wild dogs

$5 if you can name that movie!

just a two-second post to let you all know that i am off to gallivant around the world for a bit... am heading to munich for a combination biz/leisure trip. am actually going to try and post from munich but we shall see how that goes.

in the meantime, i will leave you with a few good books i've read lately, just to keep you all occupied:

1) beasts of no nation - new book, highly acclaimed. i didn't connect with it on a visceral level like i do with anything by jhumpa lahiri, who i heart forever and ever, but i still felt like it was an important read from a fresh new voice.
2) bonfire of the vanities - finally. i think tom wolfe is a talented writer/sociologist. his books require some slogging at times but they seem to be pitch-perfect depictions of a very specific slice in time.
3) the memory keeper's daughter - an interesting story that is a quick read. some good character development as well.

peace out

Monday, August 28, 2006

life lesson #3,428

i'd like to consider myself a reasonably adventurous person. i have yet to jump out of a plane or climb mt. everest, but i've done my share of relatively adventurous things. i've gone white-water rafting in crazy costa rican rapids, i've gone caving with gigantic spiders and centuries-old skeletons, i've climbed waterfalls, i've gone glacier hiking in argentina, i've skied down plenty of black diamond slopes, i've eaten termites in a belizean jungle. hell, i 've even agreed to go on a blind date and, for apparently no reason whatsoever aside from "hey, it's time for a change," i decided to pick up and move to the crazy-ass state of texas (although those last two actions may be more stupidity than adventurousness).

so, then, i figured a nice, calm tubing trip down the sunny james river was no biggie. what's to worry? you sit, you tan, you drink, you float. nothin' to it. easy as pie. i mean come on, i was a seasoned traveler and, as proven above, a reasonably adventurous soul.

what's the saying? "pride goes before a fall," right?

well, yes. this wknd i learned the valuable life lesson that contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to sustain personal injuries to one's self while participating in the seemingly harmless activity of tubing. it is also possible to capsize while tubing in approximately three feet of crystal-clear water, sending the unexpecting tuber completely head-over-heels in a move that, i must admit, must have looked freaking hiLARious from afar.

yes, folks, it's true. i, jennifer kim, flipped over when i hit a mini-rapid while on a tubing trip this wknd. i lost my sunglasses (see: three feet of crystal clear water mentioned above), spilled my drink, got water in my nose (again, see: three feet of crystal clear water mentioned above), and managed to scrape the hell out of my back. my shoulder is scraped and bruised, and i think i may have lost my pride somewhere in the james river.

let me know if you find it. i'd be ever so grateful.

(in my defense, i must pipe up and say that i was not the only unfortunate person to be tossed about by the james river in this undignified fashion. there were other tubers who experienced similar humiliation and disgrace, much to the amusement of both ourselves and the others in our party. thank god for good friends who are willing to laugh at each other and, most importantly, laugh at ourselves.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

my own version of chaotic

i once made the mistake of sitting down to watch an episode of "chaotic," the reality show celebrating the true love between gum-chomping-queen britney spears and vanilla-ice-wannabe k-fed. now, i've wasted plenty of time staring at the ceiling, sleeping late, "zoning out" at work (for you office space fans), surfing the internet... but those are definitely 60 minutes of my life that i want back.

anyway, i digress. the only reason i got all up on the chaotic thing is that it was the only word i could think of to accurately describe this day. it has been chaotic in the sense that i have had shitloads of work to do (and i'd like to point out that it is currently 7:49, i am still at work, i have tons to do before i can leave for the night -- yet i am sitting here, blogging away. my dedication to you people is truly limitless. either that or i have mastered the art of procrastination to the extent that i should be teaching a graduate-level class). i've had extreme emotional highs (am going on a biz trip to munich next week!!! holy crap yayyyy!!) and general feelings of "please kill me now" (omg, i can't party like i used to, i stayed out until 1:30 am last night and cannn't.... stayyy.... awaaaaake... at..... deeeeesk). i'm leaving at the butt crack of dawn tmw for a lovely little jaunt out of town, yet still have not packed nor decided what i need to do to comply with the TSA's latest lame attempts to pretend they are really doing their job (to sneak lotion onto the plane or no? that is the question).

hello, the muddle of the paragraph above is an illustration of what happens when you combine a lack of sleep, a slight hangover and a pile of work stress. mix well and throw at jennifer's brain. laugh at amusing results.

since i am too out of it to construct a proper sentence, i will leave you with a funny picture of some salsa dancers we saw when i was in south beach a few weeks ago:

if those are not the most ugly-ass tore-up hoes you've ever seen, i don't know what to tell you. this is miAmi, people!! home of scads of beautiful women!! and this is the best they could do!! good lord. plus, they were horrible dancers. pfft. i was not impressed.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

a tale of two cities

why didn't they cover this in elementary school geography lessons?

[read it aloud -- well, not aLOUD aloud, especially if you're in a cube farm -- until it kinda dawns on you and you start laughing hysterically]

Monday, August 21, 2006

k-fed rocks the teen choice awards y'all

i think i just threw up in my mouth a little...

don't hate him b/c he's a supastah

Sunday, August 20, 2006

in praise of weekends

according to our wise friends over at wikipedia, a weekend is "a part of the week lasting one or two days in which most paid workers do not work." it tells us about the historical roots of the weekend and how it plays a significant role in many religious communities (shabbat, sunday worship, and the church of the sunday morning coffee-and-a-crossword). it's something that does not require much explanation or thought -- just say the word "weekend" and immediately people know what you're talking about. it's something that is simultaneously precious and ephemeral (where did the weekend go?), yet also completely ordinary in its frequency (i can't wait for next weekend).

so, then, it takes a lot to make a perfect weekend. there are those weekends that you spend celebrating occasions (like my dear friend naomi, who got engaged this past weekend -- congrats nay!! so happy for you and adam), weekends in which you're traveling or taking a road trip to a fun new city, and shitty weekends in which you're working the whole time or doing some horribly unexciting, like doing your taxes or cleaning the toilet.

there's also the normal weekend in which nothing particular is planned and nothing special is going on. but do not be fooled, friends -- these normal weekends are delicate objects that can easily be pushed into one direction or another, filled with so many chores and errands that you run yourself ragged or characterized by such ridiculous laziness and sloth that you feel like you've somehow lost 10 million brain cells and gained 10 million pounds by the time sunday night rolls around.

...which is why you have me, your resident normal weekend expert. i've listed below a variety of things from my weekend that, when combined together, make up for the perfect "normal" weekend. note that these activities do not necessarily need to take place in any particular order; in fact, normal weekends are generally more successfully when they are not overly planned out.

the list:
  1. scrambled eggs and turkey bacon
  2. sleeping in
  3. phone calls with old friends
  4. stocking up on delicious new books
  5. devouring your delicious new books while sitting by the pool in the hot texas sun until you get so hot and sweaty you need to a dip. make sure you dry off when you get back to your chair so you don't drip all over your new book.
  6. all-you-can-eat sushi and plum saketinis
  7. freshly pedicured feet with sparkly pink toenails
  8. nights on the town where you get to hear great old music (e.g.: "it's friday night, and the weekend's here, it's time to unwind, where's the par-tay... heyyyyy mr. DJ" and "you. are. everything little thing you do, you're on my mind, you're on my mind.")
  9. ice-cold greyhounds with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  10. going from bar to bar in a pedicab instead of a taxi
  11. dirty dancing on TV ("one minute i'm eating JUJUbees to stay alive and the next minute women are stuffing diamonds in my pocket")
  12. long workouts at the gym
  13. freshly laundered clothes
  14. watching bridget jones's diary while drinking wine (i.e., an entire bottle of wine -- just felt that was appropriate given the choice of movie)

not included on the list: getting my toe stepped on and broken in half by an enormous man who seriously must be a linebacker or quarterback or something. he was extremely apologetic and it was clearly a mistake, but seriously, he was a huge son of a bitch and my toenail throbbed for the next hour. also not included on the list: the beginning of what might be a stye (sty?) in my left eye. not exactly a sexy look. oh, and of course, my wise decision to buy a cute new lampshade with gold metal highlights for my new mix-and-match lamp, the base of which is... silver. alas. i guess you can't always get your way, eh? and if the worst part of my life right now is the fact that my lamp doesn't match, then hell, i guess i have things pretty good...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

shout-out to my alma mater, kinda

my attention was recently directed to a hilarious video on youtube. am particularly loving the girls' pearls and the little j.crew-esque critters on the guy's chinos.

p-unit yallz! tell buffy to chirp me.


don't know what happened to the link, but here it is again:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


beloved readers of the blog (you know, all three of you), i have some big news that i've been wanting to share with you for quite some time now. i wanted to make sure i gave myself enough time to prep for the big reveal, and now that some time has passed, i think... it's... time.

so: i'd like to introduce you to someone new in my life. he's the perfect roommate because he doesn't take up much space, is always happy to see me, and adds a decorative flair to the place. his personality is feisty, he loves to eat, and he stays put until i say so.

ladies and gentlemen, i'd like to introduce you to... cowboy!!

awwww, he's being a bit shy. let's see if we can't coax him out a bit, eh?

admiring his beautiful red fins from afar:

welcome to my humble abode, little man. i look forward to many fishy good times together. may you live long and prosper just like your predecessor, little buddha, who had numerous brushes with death but always managed to pull through. i'm sure he is sending you warm wishes from DC.

Friday, August 11, 2006

a propos of nothing...

...i present you with my official work photo, something that i had completely forgotten about until i got to the office and saw the little reminder on my calendar (despite having signed up several weeks in advance). i had gone super-cazh that day in jeans and a tank top (well, two tank tops, to be specific) and fretted about looking too casual in an official work pic. but i think it turned out okay:

although i must say that i was kinda disappointed because they took all these fun pics of me lounging in a chair and making silly faces... and then ended up picking the most normal-looking shot of them all. oh well.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

bucking my own stereotype

i've written on here before about my issues with rushing. i am just a bad rusher, period, the end. i dawdle. i always underestimate how long it takes to do something (i just need to go for a run, shower, get dressed, eat dinner, and then i'll be good to go... hmm... why don't we meet in, say, 20 minutes or so?). i stare at my (full) walk-in closet for a good five minutes each morning, wondering what to wear, to the extent that you'd think i'd never seen the contents of my own closet before. even when i'm late and rushing around, i'll randomly stop to scramble for the right lip gloss or change my purse or hell, even toast a bagel. once, in college, i was running late for a final exam but stopped long enough to curl my eyelashes (i am making myself sound much more girly and high-maintenance than i think i actually am).

but! today. to-DAY, people! i'm proud to admit that this morning, the bad rushing habit was officially broken (effects have not been proven to last, but we shall see). the cause of this unnatural occurrence went something like this:

last night was a lovely, lovely evening. i came home from work relatively early, and after playing with my digital camera for a few minutes (taking photos of the LATEST ADDITION to my apt, more on that - or him?! - another time), i went to the gym for a nice sweaty workout. then it was back to the apt for a shower and a major freak-out when i saw a BIG FAT CRUNCHY COCKROACH in my bathroom (gross. first one i've ever seen, and hopefully not the start of a trend). rack brain for ways to kill cockroach without actually smushing him (i don't usually mind killing bugs, but having to kill bugs that crunch seriously grosses me out. yuck). engage in guerrilla warfare with said cockroach as i try to lure him under a cup. he is now safely under the cup, where i hope that the lack of oxygen will slowly kill him and all i have to do is flush his dead carcass. if he is somehow still alive, i will most likely enlist my male neighbor to do the actual crunching for me or find a way to lure him into the toilet so that i don't actually have to smush him and hear his little cockroach bones cruching (okay, so maybe i am girly and high-maintenance after all).

okay i am getting way off-topic here. point is, after all the cockroach warfare, i ended up going out for a late dinner with some girls from my apt complex. we went to this great little place in my neighborhood called beck's that has a great fenced-in area out back with live music (of course) and lots of little christmas lights strung over the trees. we shared a bottle of wine and artichoke dip, and i had a delicious grilled portabello cap with shrimp and goat cheese with a side of spinach salad. yum! we ended up staying out a bit later than expected, and so when my alarm went off this morning, i decided to sleep in for a bit and roll into work around 930 or 945.

...which is a brilliant plan when you don't have an important department meeting to attend at 8:30. GAHHH. one of my snoozes went off at 8:10, and i remember going to snooze some more to enjoy a few more precious Z's... until the fact that i had an 8:30 meeting HIT ME IN THE CHEST like a bolt of lightning and i jumped out of bed (note: i never jump out of bed. ever. if God forbid there was ever a fire in my apt, i would probably lean over and stretch before getting out of bed and going to see if my door was hot).

so out of bed at 8:10, and into the dept mtg at 8:36. if that's not impressive, people, then i don't know what is. boo yeah!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

VICTORY IS MINE!! mwa ha ha

i finished the ice breaker game!! maybe it took much longer than it would have if i had a y chromosome and a twig and berries, but this is one girl who doesn't give up on her computer games (and also has a tendency to take dumb things way too seriously. not good). am ice breaker's bitch no more, YEAAAHHHH.

oh, and in case you were wondering. the ending of the game is quite anti-climactic. he takes off his jacket and bashes the last wall with his head instead his fist... which is kinda cool, i guess, but i feel like i worked so hard to get there and deserved much more for my accomplishment.

maybe i should write a letter. or an email. or just get back to work already, for the love of god.

girls can't play video games

(is that like white men can't jump?)

okay, or maybe it's just me. thanks to my friend chris, i have now wasted about 20 minutes of my day trying to beat this motherf*&*#$ing icebreaker game. it is incredibly addicting and brings out the competitive beast in me that... MUST... WIN... THE... GAME. i'm a horribly sore loser and hate admitting defeat, but having successfully wasted 20 minutes of my day playing it and five minutes of my day blogging about it, i must admit that i am now icebreaker's little bitch.

grr. if anyone makes it to the end and finds out what happens, please tell me.

i must say, though, that although true gamers would probably find this game very rudimentary when compared to the standards of the overall gaming world, i was impressed. his celebratory stances every time he successfully breaks through a wall were incredibly motivating (yeeah!!), the music fits perfectly (made my pulse race) and he was all pimped out in his very realistic-looking suit... because, you know, every time i break through walls of ice, i like to suit up in my best.

now it's your turn.

Monday, August 07, 2006

you would think a 25-year-old adult who has been dressing herself for decades would know better

so you all know that i've had wardrobe issues at work before. ahem. well, the work week has kicked off with yet another reason why i should really just hire a personal shopper already. i completely overslept this morning and was rushing around like a madwoman to get out of the house as quickly as possible (and those of you who know me know that i am a horrible rusher. seriously). i decided to wear a new black shirt that i bought at the outlets a few weeks ago, a cute little cap-sleeved tee with ruching on the front that i found at white house black market. sounds good so far, yes? well in my desperate attempt to rail against my own bad-rusher stereotype, i apparently didn't time the time to look at myself in the mirror before leaving because this shirt? the cute little cap-sleeved tee? with ruching on the front?, um, a bit low-cut. as i sit at my computer and look down i can totally see my (pathetic excuse for) cleavage.

[cringes, puts on work sweater and tries to adjust shirt to show minimize appearance of pathetic cleavage]

i mean, we're not talking like X-rated low-cut. but still, low-cut enough that i am going to be hyper-conscious about it all day and constantly tugging on the back hem of the shirt so that it rides up a bit in the front.

sigh. i think i have a case of the mondays...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

so THAT'S where all the koreans have been hiding

last night i went out to dinner with some work friends to celebrate someone's birthday. i didn't know everyone there (shocker), but i knew the birthday boy, and the invite said dinner followed by a dueling piano bar and maybe even some karaoke thrown in for good measure... so i was in.

the night started with tex-mex (shocker #2) at a restaurant called vivo, over on the east side of austin. the "east side" of austin is supposedly where they hide all of austin's black people (well, all seven of them), and much like many other older, predominantly black neighborhoods in growing cities it is undergoing a major gentrification. i haven't spent much time over there and supposedly the further east you go the less gentrified it gets, but from what little bit i saw, it definitely looked a bit different from other austin neighborhoods i've been in.

but i digress. dinner was surprisingly delicious -- and before i get my new austinite status revoked, don't get me wrong, i like tex-mex, but it starts to get a bit old after a while (although i could eat chips & queso every other day of my life). we sat in this little corner nook that was somewhat cornered off from the rest of the place; a cozy, candle-lit space filled with risque black-and-white photographs of couples cavorting and feeding each other spaghetti in the nude (side note: if i'm going to dine a deux in the nude, for some reason i don't think we'd choose spaghetti as the main fare. maybe more like sushi or smthg?).

after a prickly pear margarita and way too many chips & queso i got my dinner entree -- a "puffy taco" with beef and an enchilada verde (chicken and green tomatillo sauce) with rice & beans. yum! it was surprisingly lighter and more reasonably-sized than most other tex-mex meals i've had here, where the portions are so overwhelming you feel a little bit scared.

anyway, after dinner we went to this dueling piano bar on austin's infamous 6th street where i honestly think i was one of maybe two or three minorities in a PACKED bar. um, yeah. yay for austin. i've been there once before and had a good time but last night wasn't as fun, partially b/c i didn't think the singers were as good (i'm such a music snob) and partially b/c i kept on looking around in a desperate attempt to find other non-white people. alas.

the TRUE fun began afterwards when (after having been drinking @ the piano bar for several hours) we decided it would be a good idea to pile in our cars and drive up to north austin for some karaoke goodness. this was definitely no karaoke in 17 in chelsea NY with trendy bartenders and chic furnishings, but there were private karaoke rooms, plenty of beer, and microphones galore. the owners were all korean, and pretty much all of the customers except for us were too. there were young nastasians, old korean dudes standing around drinking beer, high school kids singing michelle branch, the whole shebang. if i ever need to find a bunch of koreans, i've found my place, y'all!

Friday, August 04, 2006

wormy goodness

worms: who knew?

part of me is really grossed out, part of me is oddly fascinated, and part of me is jealous that i'm not a worm. sounds like a pretty sweet life to me.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


lately i've been overcome by an incredible sense of laziness. maybe it's all the biz travel, maybe it's the overwhelming heat (although i hear you humidity-soaked east coasters are suffering just as badly), maybe it's the craziness at work, maybe i'm just overly picky about friends... i don't know. i knew that in moving to a new city, i'd have to exert some effort to meet new people and be open-minded about the new people instead of just expecting them all to be incredibly fabulous off the bat. but lately it just feels like staying put in my air-conditioned apt after a long day and curling up with my latest netflix rental and a big glass of wine is a lot more appealing than putting myself out there and smiling at people that i may or may not like.

...which works great for a few nights, and then suddenly some interior "OLD LADY WITH LOTS OF CATS, gah gah gah" alarm goes off in my head and bang! i get out there immediately and start socializing with people willy-nilly, meeting people at the pool, talking to people over martinis, going to after-work happy hours, calling my neighbor, etc. it's an odd balance of wanting time alone and time to unwind with time to be adventurous and time to seek out new and sometimes unnerving experiences. i suppose this is what your 20s are for? but what does that mean, anyway? your "20s?" i know plenty of 20-something people who barely have the brain cells required to tie their own shoes, let alone balance a checkbook or hold down a successful job. yet i also know other 20-somethings who've decided to take the plunge and commit to marriage and the possibility of kids.

so what does this mean for the rest of us that fall somewhere in the middle? "your 20s" seems like such a limiting term, yet it's something that can mean such different things to different people. i guess you could say it's a phase of your life when you figure out what's right for you and you do it -- whether that means changing jobs every year until you find one that you're good at and also makes you happy, ir going back to school, or settling down to start a family, or getting wasted every night until you figure out that maybe that's not such a good idea, and or just going around making plenty of mistakes and doing your best to pick up the pieces every time and move on.

it's just an odd time of flux, i suppose. one that leads to conflicting ideas and circular conversations and that crazy double-bond of adulthood (whee! i can do what the fuck ever i want!... oh shit, rent, 401k, school loans, and bills).

anyway, i have to go. i have to hurry up and finish working so that i can go satisfy both sides of my personality with a very social after-work happy hour and some very anti-social vegging out at home...

bite me blogger

apologies for my recent lack of updates, but i'm finally back in austin and was all ready to share my most recent adventures with you all in the form of a particularly hilarious photo essay / visual apt tour... but blogger has decided to be an annoying little bitch and not upload the pics i had wanted to share.

so. text it is, along with the two pics that decided not to be annoying little bitches and actually upload.

fri night i decided i to make it a bridget jones night (sort of like a blockbuster night, but with more emphasis on wine than on popcorn). it had been a long, tiring week, the majority of which had been spent in south beach with colleagues, and i was ready to hang out with my good friends me, myself, and i... and an entire bottle of malbec. if you look closely at the following pic of my kitchen you can kinda see the aforementioned bottle of malbec resting upon my faux granite counter, now devoid of any liquid, of course:

on saturday there was a pool party sponsored by our apt management company, and i decided to stop by. it was like melrose place on crack, i shit you not... white people everywhere in bikinis and trendy swimming trunks, tanned to the point of artifical brownness and drinking beer out of coozies and listening to music blaring from ipod docking stations. i ended up meeting two girls there, and we all went out later that night (along with like seven dudes who were nice but just incredibly frat-tastic)... and ended up getting rip-roaringly drunk on cheap liquor. note to self: drinking too much cheap liquor does not a good morning-after make. here is a pic of my incredibly messy bathroom (courtesy of this week's biz trip). again, if you look closely, you can see the bottle of propel strategically placed near the toilet to minimize the back-and-forth btwn the kitchen and the toilet:

yes. i am classy. what's up.

sunday it was off to miami for the second time in as many weeks. it was fine - no south beach this time and no embarrassing encounters with old co-workers that i stupidly kissed once (gah. that's a story for another time, methinks), but it's all good. i didn't come back until late on tues night, which resulted in quite the messy apt during the day on wed. note my unpacking skeelz below:

[lame pic that did not load]

now, before you think i am an unforgivably messy person, you'll be glad to know that i cleaned up my apt last night and it's looking nice and clean. i think i'd even dare say that it looks so fresh and so clean, clean.